Esther, Mother of Brianna Ghey, Claims Online Safety Act is Insufficient


Esther Ghey, mother of murdered teenager Brianna Ghey, has expressed concerns that the Online Safety Act does not sufficiently protect children from harmful online content. Despite the government’s claim that the law is “world-leading” and could result in billion-pound fines for non-compliance, Ms. Ghey believes that the vastness of the internet and social media makes it difficult to police effectively.

The Online Safety Act, which became law in October 2023, aims to make the internet safer for children by holding tech firms accountable for their platform’s content. However, Ms. Ghey argues that the act will not prevent children from seeing hateful comments and other disturbing content.

Brianna Ghey, a transgender teenager, was murdered at age 16. One of her killers, Scarlett Jenkinson, had accessed violent videos on the dark web. Ms. Ghey has since called for a ban on smartphones for children under 16 and started a petition that has garnered over 90,000 signatures.

Ms. Ghey also advocates for teaching mindfulness in schools to build mental resilience among young people. She has launched a local campaign in Warrington to fund mindfulness teachers in every school and hopes to expand this initiative across England.

The government insists that the legislation requires social media platforms to enforce age restriction policies, protect children from harmful content, and remove illegal material. Failure to comply could result in hefty fines and potential imprisonment for company executives.

Ms. Ghey continues her advocacy work in memory of her daughter, recently holding a vigil on the first anniversary of Brianna’s murder. She believes that her daughter would be proud of her efforts to promote mindfulness, though she might not agree with the mobile phone petition.

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